We are taking steps to ensure that we are not involved further in the mudslinging that characterized the quoted page in the last day or so. We do not endorse Dr. Jenney’s views on every topic, but he is, of course, free to express them in other forums or websites. They should not be taken as representative of our company or our software.
This is stated as plainly as possible. I know that I shall not hold Dr. Jenney’s personal religious and political views (which he posted publicly on FB–which allowed all of us to read them–and which he subsequently censored in this very forum) against Accordance or its manufacturer, OakTree, as Dr. Jenney’s extreme views are indeed not the views of OakTree Software. I encourage others to do likewise.
OakTree is an excellent company, and Accordance is wonderfully power Bible software, and its management took steps yesterday to reassure its customers that Dr. Jenney’s views are not endorsed by, and do not reflect the views of his employer, OakTree Software…
That said, I shall continue to be a loyal customer of OakTree and Accordance, and if you haven’t tried their software, I encourage you to do so.
Let me add, that I like Accordance as a platform and now as a company. There is no bashing of views, nor censorship, only a separation and an acknowledged separation.
Accordance Bible has recently released Beale’s A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New(Baker Academic, 2011) via their software platform. As many of you may know, G.K. Beale is a (the?) premier evangelical theologian and scholar whose scholarship transcends sectarian boundaries. Those of us who already have his previous work will know his dedication to the Scriptures. I will focus this reviews on two areas. I will briefly review the book itself and then focus on its value on the Accordance platform.
A New Testament Biblical Theology is just that. Beale, a “biblical theologian” focuses on a canonical approach to Scripture, thus setting the New Testament as a fulfillment of the Old Testament. Unlike many, Beale does not data mine the Old Testament for preconceived presuppositions about the validity of Jesus but rather sees the Old Testament as part of the continuing story of how God works to bring about the New Creation, which happens in the New Testament. Indeed, Beale sees a stronger unity between the two portions of Scripture than our words “Old” and “New” should allow. Here, he stands with the great theologians of the past and against those who suppose Christians need only the New Testament…only the Gospels…only the words in red.
The book is divided into 10 parts, with 28 chapters between them. He begins by setting the course for biblical theology, moving into what it means to have a “already but not yet” eschatological view, arriving then to begin to tackle the tough topics of sin, salvation, and the new life in the Spirit. His final parts deal with the Church, the Church and Israel, and the individual within the corporate body of the Church. Throughout the entire book, the unity of the Text shines forth without issues plaguing most biblical theologies. There is no forceful fitting of problem texts, only a great code of interconnected circles that would make Frye proud. It will be tough for some — mainliners in particular — given the heavy use of Scripture and the high view of it; however, Christians should take note of Beale’s work and seek to use it.
I want to, only because it seems to be the only topic covered in most churches these days, examine Beale’s chapter 26, “Christian Living as the Beginning of Transformed New-Creational Life: The Role of the Law and Marriage.” Beale begins by dismantling the “tripartite classification of the law” (i.e., ceremonial, civil, and moral) as authentic to the Law itself. Rather, as he allows, it is helpful (“generally”) but not something inherent in the Text itself. He then tackles the notion of how the Law transferred to the Church, explaining the three philosophical viewpoints. In his view, only those aspects of the Law not fulfilled in Christ (i.e., the ceremonial) carried over, meaning that the moral codes are still intact. This is not surprising given Beale’s connection to the Westminster Confession (something he cites numerous times throughout the work). This is important as he uses this (based on biblical theology) to argue for marriage as defined by the Law, i.e., man and woman — although Beale does not broach the topic of SSM but argues for a view of marriage based on the moral codes. This doesn’t mean that marriage is not transformed, only that it is not made something completely separated from the Law — it is transformed by taking on new aspects.
It is true that marriage is for the purposes of fulfillment in love (physically, spiritually, and emotionally), for propagation, and for sanctification. When problems arise in the marriage relationship, husbands and wives need to remember that there is an ultimate redemptive-historical purpose for marriage that transcends their own human relationship.1
This view of “sanctification” as an act of marriage, I believe, is important in understanding the monogamy of marriage. This, of course, is not the place to discuss this. Let me simply point out that Beale, while being Reformed, can be approached by Wesleyans and others who have a sound understanding of sanctification.
In total, Beale is a biblical theologian in every sense possible. While many will disagree with him, his thought process is consistent and based squarely in the Reformation principles of biblical exegesis.
Having A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the Newon Accordance creates an interconnected environment. Not only are the verses and passages hyperlinked (which, unless you have Scripture memorized, you will need so that you aren’t wasting time looking them up), but throughout the book you will find hyperlinks to various outside works and (something that helps me) hyperlinks between abbreviations and what they stand for. This is something lacking on other electronic editions. Also, without hours wasted on indexing, upon installation I am able to immediately search the book for various words — English, Greek, Hebrew, and transliterated words (among other search features).
I have included several pictures (and comments) from my MacBook Pro version:
As you can see, the Accordance platform offers you a way to use the book easily and as part of your overall library. You can make notes as well as copy and paste selections (with citation) to aid in your research. Rather than reading the book, you get to explore it, test it, and employ it with just a few mouse clicks.
There is a certain nostalgia for the printed book, but when I need to use a book — for research, for study, for help — I turn to electronic editions. What is helpful is when I can use a software platform without the downtime of installing, indexing, and then finding the best way to search it. I have that with Accordance. The fact that I have one of the best books on biblical theology, only adds to my satisfaction levels.
There is a growing need and hunger among those people who call themselves Methodist to understand better John Wesley. Perhaps this need is first introduced because they hear something they don’t think is quite right. Or maybe they finally experience a good theological discussion of what it means to be Wesleyan — infallibility, class meeting, holy conferencing and the like. Or maybe they are just new to the denomination and want to understand what (gently) separates us from others. Regardless, across the United States there is a move gaining ground that seeks to look once more to the founder of Methodism in hopes that we can reclaim something of our Wesleyan roots.
The “John Wesley Collection” from Logos contains 26 volumes of writings by John Wesley. These include his journals, letters, his notes upon the New Testament, as well as his sermons. (There is also a multi-volume biographical set included as well, bringing the total number of volumes in this package to 29). As many will know, Wesley’s sermons and New Testament biblical commentary are part of the doctrinal standards of The United Methodist Church. Perhaps each member of the UMC would do well to have this handy as they approach any sort of business meeting.
Like other Logos products, the “John Wesley Collection” comes ready to be explored and synced up to other Logos attributes, such as timelines and maps. Bible verses are likewise hyperlinked so that one can follow Fr. John easy enough as he exegetes and uses Scripture in his daily life. Unlike print copy reproductions, it is easy to read on your notebook or other portable device.
One of the highlights of this collection is the immediacy of information. I can search the times Wesley used “baptism” or “communion” as well as use topic searches to see how he felt about Calvinists and Americans. I can read (and use) what Wesley wrote not just as a proof-text, but in context and — more importantly — along a timeline. As most Wesleyan scholars know, Fr. John was not the same at the end of this life as he was at the beginning. He grew. So, we can find out when and what he said and place it on a graph, charting such growth. It really is a fascinating way to examine the beliefs of Fr. John, watching a mind shaped by his experiences, grapple with the things set before him.
I would highly recommend this set, especially for those Methodists who are still Wesleyan.
This exciting five-volume series follows up on the acclaimed Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture to provide patristic commentary on the Nicene Creed. The series renders primary Greek, Latin, Coptic and Syriac source material from the church fathers in lucid English translation (some here for the first time) and gives readers unparalleled insight into the history and substance of what the early church believed.
Including biographical sketches, a timeline of ancient Christian sources, indexes, bibliographies and keys to original language sources as well as the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in Greek, Latin and English (ICET version), this series illuminates key theological essentials in the light of classic and consensual Christian faith and makes an excellent resource for preaching and teaching.
This module includes the following five volumes:
Volume 1 – We Believe in One God (Edited by Gerald L. Bray)
Volume 2 – We Believe in One Lord Jesus Christ (Edited by John Anthony Mcguckin)
Volume 3 – We Believe in the Crucified and Risen Lord (Edited by Mark J. Edwards)
Volume 4 – We Believe in the Holy Spirit (Edited by Joel C. Elowsky)
Volume 5 – We Believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (Edited by Angelo DiBerardino)
You may also be interested in the 29-volume Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (ACCS Complete) and the 3-volume Ancient Christian Devotional (Ancient Devotional).